The Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation of Canada has develop its Learning Centre program based on the long and successful experience of the US Scottish Rite jurisdictions, where over 200 Centres are now in operation addressing only the remedial tutoring of children with dyslexia. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and / or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge (International Dyslexia Association).
The impetus for the program came from a group of Scottish Rite Freemasons in London, Ontario, whose proposals for a series of Centres across Canada led to the Foundation authorizing a three-year Pilot project in London to assess the financial and educational feasibility of the program before extending it to other Centres. At the Learning Centres, children with dyslexia are helped to learn to read. Learning Centres tutor children individually with the Orton-Gillingham Approach that accommodates their specific learning differences in a one-to-one setting. The sessions are all after regular school hours. The key to the uniqueness and success of the program is that all tutors are trained without charge, and all tutoring is FREE to the children enrolled. The funds are raised locally and across Canada through donations to the Foundation for which tax-benefit receipts are issued, and the Foundation uses some of its investment income in support.
The first Centre opened on September 15, 2003 in the London Masonic Temple with 6 tutors, each with a child being tutored, and with more children being added as the tutors advance in skill and experience. With the success of the London Learning Centre, seven other Centres have now opened.
In April 2016, the Board of Directors of the SRCF approved, in principle, the formation of a Learning Centre in Hamilton, Ontario which is scheduled to open in September 2017. Information about this venture can be found here.
For more information on the Learning Centres, contact the local centre: